I remember vividly the evening that the capture for this image was made. The weather forecast called for thunderstorms in Rocky Mountain National Park. This often is a bit risky from a photography standpoint, because it seems there’s about an equal chance of seeing something really cool happening with the conditions, or getting simply a flat, drab sky or a persistent downpour that washes away all of the visual interest in the landscape.
On this night, I got the really cool conditions. In fact, the conditions were unreal, I’ve never quite seen anything like it in several years of visiting the park during evenings in the summer. A rolling fog filled Forest Valley, the valley just behind this spire, and curtains of mist moved in and moved out with alacrity over the spire itself. But the fog and the mist were uneven – a clear sky would sometimes develop, even as most of the landscape otherwise was covered by the fog or draped by the mist. In summer, this location usually is quite crowded with tourists, but on this evening, warned away by the weather, there were few people about, and perhaps none by the time I made this capture. Photographically, it was one of those evenings I probably never will forget.
But there’s something I remember even more – the profound sense of peace and well-being I felt while I was working that evening. This particular image was a long exposure, two minutes or perhaps more if memory serves. While I was waiting for the exposure to run, I simply was sitting with myself, watching the scene unfold, and being at peace with my inner life. There were no regrets about the past, nor anxiety about the future, just being, truly being, a part of the moment. The feeling was all the more remarkable for occurring at a time otherwise rife with personal turmoil.
Photography is like that for me, and there’s a lesson in there somewhere, I suppose. Wouldn’t it be nice to carry that feeling with you all the time?